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Post. More than the world enjoys.

lach. Either your unparagoned mistress is dead, or she's outpriz’d by a trifle.

Post. You are mistaken: the one may be sold, or given;/if there were wealth enough for the purchase, or merit for the gift: the other is not a thing for sale, and only the gift of the gods.

Iach. Which the gods have given you?
Post. Which, by their graces, I will keep.

Iach. You may wear her in title yours: but, you know, strange fowl light upon neighbouring ponds. Your ring may be stolen too: so, of your brace of unprizeable estimations, the one is but frail, and the other casual: a cunning thief, or a that-way accomplished courtier, would hazard the winning both of first and last.

Post. Your Italy contains none so accomplished a courtier, to convincel2 the honour of my mistress; if, in the holding or loss of that, you term her frail. I do nothing doubt, you have store of thieves; notwithstanding I fear not my ring.

Phi. Let us leave here, gentlemen.

Post. Sir, with all my heart. This worthy signior, I thank him, makes no stranger of me: are familiar at first.

lach. With five times so much conversation, l should get ground of your fair mistress: make her go back, even to the yielding; had I admittance, and opportunity to friend.

Post. No, no.

lach. I dare, thereon, pawn the moiety of my estate to your ring; which, in my opinion, o'ervalues it something : But I make my wager rather against your confidence, than her reputation: and, to bar your offence herein too, I durst attempt it against any lady in the world.

we

12 i. e. overcome.

Post. You are a great deal abused13 in too bold a persuasion; and I doubt not you sustain what you're worthy of, by your attempt.

Lach. What's that?

Post. A repulse: Though your attempt, as you call it, deserve more; a punishment too.

Phi. Gentlemen, enough of this: it came in too suddenly; let it die as it was born, and, I pray you, be better acquainted.

lach. 'Would I had put my estate, and my neighbour's, on the approbation14 of what I have spoke.

Post. What lady would you choose to assail?

Iach. Yours; whom in constancy, you think, stands so safe. I will lay you ten thousand ducats to your ring, that, commend me to the court where your lady is, with no more advantage than the opportunity of a second conference, and I will bring from thence that honour of hers, which you imagine so reserved.

Post. I will wage against your gold, gold to it: my ring I hold dear as my finger; 'tis part of it.

Iach. You are a friend15, and therein the wiser. 'i'aburis, If you buy ladies' flesh at a million a dram, you arzi? cannot preserve it from tainting: But, I see, you have some religion in you, that you fear.

Post. This is but a custom in your tongue; you bear a graver purpose, I hope.

lach. I am the master of my speeches16; and would undergo what's spoken, I swear.

Post. Will you?-I shall but lend my diamond till your return:-Let there be covenants drawn

13 i. e. deceived.
· The Moor's abused by some most villanous kuave.'

Othello. 14 j. e. proof.

how many now in health
Shall drop their blood in approbation
Of what your reverence shall incite us to."

King Henry V. is See note 10 on this scene, p. 21. 16 • I know what I have said ; I said no more than I meant.'

between us: My mistress exceeds in goodness the hugeness of your unworthy thinking: 1 dare you to this match: here's my ring.

Phi. I will have it no lay.

Iach. By the gods it is one: If I bring you no sufficient testimony that I have enjoyed the dearest bodily part of your mistress, my ten thousand ducats are yours; so is your diamond too.

If I come off, and leave her in such honour as you have trust in, she your jewel, this your jewel, and my gold are yours :-provided, I have your commendation, for my more free entertainment.

Post. I embrace these conditions; let us have articles betwixt us:-only, thus far you

shall answer. If you make your voyage upon her, and give me directly to understand you have prevailed, I am no further your enemy, she is not worth our debate: if she remain unseduced (you not making it appear otherwise), for your ill opinion, and the assault you have made to her chastity, you

shall answer me with your sword.

Iach. Your hand; a covenant: We will have these things set down by lawful counsel, and straight away for Britain; test the bargain should catch cold, and starve: I will fetch my gold, and have our two wagers recorded. Post. Agreed.

E.reunt Post. and lach. French. Will this hold, think you?

Phi. Signior lachimo will not from it. Pray, let us follow 'em.

[Ereunt.

SCENE VI.

Britain. A Room in Cymbeline's Palace.

Enter Queen, Ladies, and CORNELIUS. Queen. Whiles yet the dew's on ground, gather

those flowers; Make haste: Who has the note of them?

1 Lady

1, madam. Queen. Despatch.-

[Exeunt Ladies. Now, master doctor; have you brought those drugs? Cor. Pleaseth your highness, ay: here they are, madam:

[Presenting a small Box. But I beseech your grace (without offence: My conscience bids me ask); wherefore you have Commanded of me these most poisonous compounds, Which are the movers of a languishing death ; But, though slow, deadly? Queen.

I do wonder, doctor, Thou ask'st me such a question: Have I not been Thy pupil long ? Hast thou not learn’d me how To make perfumes ? distil ? preserve ? yea, so, That our great king himself doth woo me oft For my confections ? Having thus far proceeded (Unless thou think'st me devilish ), is't not meet That I did amplify my judgment in Other conclusions?? I will try the forces Of these thy compounds on such creatures as We count not worth the hanging (but none human), To try the vigour of them, and apply Allayments to their act; and by them gather Their several virtues, and effects. Cor.

Your highness Shall from this practice but make hard your heart?: Besides, the seeing these effects will be Both noisome and infectious. Queen.

0, content thee.

Enter PISANIO.
Here comes a flattering rascal; upon him
Will I first work: he's for his master,

[Aside.

Conclusions are experiments. 'I commend (says Walton ) an angler that trieth conclusions, and improves his art."

? • This thought would probably have been more amplified, had our author lived to be shocked with such experinente as have been published in later times, by a race of men who have practised tortures without pity, and related them without shame, and are yet suffered to erect their heads among human beings.' Cape saxa mano, cape robora, pastor.

Johnson Vol. IX.

2

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And enemy to my son.- How now, Pisanio ?
Doctor, your service for this time is ended;
Take your own way.
Cor.

I do suspect you, madam; But you shall do no harm.

[Aside. Queen.

Hark thee, a word.

[To PISANIO. Cor. [.Aside.] I do not like her. She doth think

she has Strange lingering poisons: I do know her spirit, And will not trust one of her malice with A drug of such damnd nature: Those, she has, Will stupify and dull the sense awhile: Which first, perchance, she'll prove on cats, and dogs; Then afterward up higher: but there is No danger in what show of death it makes, More than the locking up the spirits a time, To be more fresh, reviving. She is foolid With a most false effect; and I the truer, So to be false with her. Queen.

No further service, doctor, Until I send for thee. Cor. I humbly take my leave.

[Erit. Queen. Weeps she still, say'st thou? Dost thou

think, in time She will not quench4; and let instructions enter Where folly now possesses ? Do thou work; When thou shalt bring me word, she loves my son, I'll tell thee, on the instant, thou art then As great as is thy master : greater; for His fortunes all lie speechless, and his name Is at last gasp: Return he cannot, nor

3 This soliloquy is pronounced by Johnson to be very inartificial, and that Cornelius makes a long speech to tell himself what himself knows.' The great critic forgot that it was intended for the instruction of the audience, to relieve their anxiety at mischievous ingredients being left in the hands of the Queen. It is uo less useful to prepare us for the return of Imogen to life.

4 i. e. grow cool.

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